So the anti pre-E battle goes on…
Yesterday, upon arriving at work, I very quickly realized that I did NOT feel well. My head was pounding, my heart was racing, and was so sooooo swollen (so swollen, I could not close my fingers or hold them together because they were too puffy- still are, in fact). I had a sneaking suspicion my blood pressure was through the roof, a suspicion which was confirmed shortly thereafter when I had my blood pressure taken and it came back at 150/90. No bueno. I sat at my desk for half an hour trying to see if the “yuck” would go away, but it didn’t… and it seemed like it was getting worse. I was dizzy and I was starting to have floaters in my vision- and so I made the decision to head upstairs to the women’s urgent care clinic to be seen (these are the times when working in the hospital is very very convenient).
When I got there, they confirmed my BP was high and my pulse was in the 120’s (resting heart rate!). No wonder I felt like it was going a million miles a minute. They basically had me lay on my left side for two hours with constant monitoring of both me and baby. The good news is, as I lay down, my pulse gradually went back down to the low 100’s (still high) and my BP actually drifted down into the normal range. Who knew?
Also, baby was perfect the whole time…. his heart tracings showed no decelerations (some accelerations, but still within the limits of where he should have been) and he was super active, squirming, kicking away at the monitor and generally trying his best to get away from the thing (insert motherly guilt here: our midwife only ever listens to his heartbeat for about 10 seconds, long enough to get an accurate count on it, because he doesn’t LIKE the doppler and kicks it away too… and here I was sticking him on a monitor for two whole hours. Sorry, baby boy).
I still don’t have any protein in my urine, though they did find some glucose (this is on top of a recent blood test in which my glucose came back elevated), which the Dr. seemed to think was suspicious (especially as I hadn’t eaten anything sugary that morning and had only drunk water). So now we’re left wondering what the heck is going on- clearly, some PIH, but GD as well? Ugh.
After the two hours of monitoring, since both my heartrate and my BP had declined significantly and since my headache was less and the floaters in my vision were gone, I was sent home with instructions to rest and follow up with my midwife. Which I did, and here’s where I guess I need to vent a little:
Knowing they were in clinic with other patients, I sent the midwife a text message (rather than calling) when I got home informing her of what had happened, that I had been seen, what they found, etc. It took her awhile to get back to me (as I figured it would, since I knew she was busy), and when she did her only advice was to “start taking ginger”. Hmmmm. I love my midwives, and up until now have had really no complaints, but I feel like “take ginger” doesn’t properly address the situation here. What about the blood sugar? What does ginger even do, anyways? (In the end I found this result from Dr. Google- it is supposedly an anti-inflammatory that can help reduce blood pressure). I asked her about the sugar, dosage of ginger, etc, and got only sparse answers back. She also said that the next time I come to see them, she would give me a blood sugar monitor to take home with me. That’s all well and good, but I still have concerns that our brief text conversation did nothing to address.
For one thing, “the next time I go to see them” is actually “the next time they come to see us,” since they’re scheduled for a home visit to us on Wednesday of next week. I really hope they remember that- especially since she made no mention of it and didn’t say anything back via text when I reminded her.
Also, I have friends who have had GD and had to be induced early due to their tendency to grow 12 pound babies! Since this is my first pregnancy, there’s obviously no way to really guess how big he will be (and we haven’t had a growth scan since 29 weeks), and I also haven’t been diagnosed with GD outside of my own speculations and those of the Dr. at the clinic yesterday, but given my strong family history of diabetes (both my mother and my grandmother) and how big I already am with 3weeks6days to go (and yes, I owe you a 36 week bumpdate from yesterday), I can’t help but wonder if I’m following that route… and if we should be being more proactive about it? We did do an early glucose test, which if you’ll remember I passed but only barely, and, at the midwife’s preference, an A1C rather than a second glucose test. The A1C came back fine… but I’m wondering if, rather than the A1C, we should have done another glucose screen? Forgive me for delving into nerd-dom here, but the A1C is a measure of blood sugar levels over the last 3 months- an average. Women with GD don’t necessarily have elevated blood sugars until their third trimester/later in pregnancy, and both the A1C and the glucose were done early in pregnancy. Thus, if I’ve had elevated levels now, they wouldn’t have shown up on the A1C because that was done before my levels (possibly) went up…. make sense?
And finally, this whole herbal supplement thing is all well and good, but I have concerns with it. For one thing, though a few, small studies (that I was able to find) have been able to show that ginger is effective in treating blood pressure, there is my no means definitive, conclusive evidence out there that it does. Same with garlic (which I am also taking). I am not a HUGE fan of medications and strange chemicals, but I also believe that there is a time and a place for drugs and that in this situation, I would rather be on FDA-approved blood pressure medication known to be effective for women in pregnancy than herbal supplements. That’s just my opinion, and what I feel more comfortable with- I would rather be more aggressive and go for the pharmaceuticals in order to hopefully get this under control, faster. But that’s not how the midwife works and so, in this situation, we’re kind of at odds. Shorty has convinced me to give the supplements a try for a week or so and if they don’t work, we can ask for a different plan of attack. This sounds suspiciously reasonable to my hormone-fogged, anxious pregnancy brain, and so I have agreed to go with it, for now and with the intentions of bringing up my concerns at our home visit next week (assuming that happens). But it’s still not my cup o’ joe.
So, overall, I am just generally anxious about where this is all going. 3 weeks, 6 days (up to 5weeks, 6days, depending on when he arrives*) is not a lot of time but it seems like forever right now and I’m worried about what will happen between now and then. I know poor Shorty is also worried for me and baby, in spite of my attempts to reassure her otherwise. I worry that we’re not being aggressive enough with treatment, that we’re not being proactive enough with our plans, and kind of feel like we’re not getting as much guidance as I’d like (there: I just summed up the last three whiny paragraphs for you- you could have skipped them all!). I know that the goal is healthy baby healthy mama, and frankly, all I want is to get there. I don’t even care if it happens in the hospital or at home right now- whichever will get us to that goal is fine by me. I just feel like there’s clearly something going on with my body and this pregnancy, and I feel like it’s important to find out what, sooner rather than later, since whatever is going on has the potential to influence how the rest of this pregnancy goes treatment-wise and birth-wise.
So, we’ll see where this goes. Our midwife appointment is on Wednesday and I have every intention of laying this all out there to see what she says. Until then, I guess we just wait and see.
Thanks for reading, guys… it feels better to have it all typed out and not just floating in my head! I promise to do a fun post soon- I owe you a bumpdate and also, the nursery is almost done!!!! Pictures soon. 🙂
*On a lighter note, there are now bets on when Baby will arrive. Based purely on size, Shorty now believes he will be an early baby… and my boss told me he’ll be surprised if I make it past next week (um, I better! We’re not full term until Thursday!). I still think that, barring the need for induction and what-not, he will be a late baby.